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Topic: Can I look and see what place in line my book is to be requested?

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Subject: Can I look and see what place in line my book is to be requested?
Date Posted: 10/19/2013 1:40 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2010
Posts: 22
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I know that I can check to see what place in line I am to RECEIVE a book on my wish list.  Is there a way to tell what place in line my book is to be REQUESTED on my bookshelf?

Some books have been sitting for years, which I don't mind, but I am doing a clean out and thinking of getting rid of some.  I don't want to give away a book that is soon to be requested, but if it is still at the end of the line, I'll get rid of it.

Thank you!



Date Posted: 10/19/2013 2:01 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2005
Posts: 54
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No, from what I understand unfortunately there's no way to tell where in line books on your shelf are to be requested. That would be a great feature, though, and I wish they'd add it! I usually keep shelved books on my reminder list, though, so I can at least see how many copies are in the system.

I've had books listed for as long as eight years and I don't particularly want to let them hang around for another eight, but neither do I want to simply get rid of them if they're going to be up next.

Last Edited on: 10/19/13 2:03 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
mistie -
Date Posted: 10/19/2013 8:22 PM ET
Member Since: 9/27/2007
Posts: 2,024
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unfortunately there's no way to tell where in line books on your shelf are to be requested. That would be a great feature, though, and I wish they'd add it!


The desire for this feature is so often mentioned here on the forums, yet it seesm TPTB are very resistant to the idea. If it's a feature you'd like, send them the request. It's the only way to reinforce "what people want".

Date Posted: 10/19/2013 9:01 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,086
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The only reason that people have ever posted for needing this feature is to either know when to not post books here or to know when to remove them from your bookshelf. Both of these things do not enhance the use of PBS from a site owners point of view .... They only encourage people to use the site less. I doubt we will ever see any function remotely like this. If I was a site owner I wouldn't implement it either. But who knows ... I'm not a site owner, so maybe they will put this in place someday.

Last Edited on: 10/19/13 9:02 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/21/2013 9:01 AM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2010
Posts: 4,177
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 yes Sara----NAILED IT!


Date Posted: 10/21/2013 6:09 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,983
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And even if you are not approaching #1 spot to ship out your 'old' book, it could be requested sooner as an 'order more from member' selection.

Date Posted: 10/22/2013 1:33 AM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2010
Posts: 577
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Just food for thought, but I've seen this enough times, I've wondered if there aren't members who have left the site (you know those people who we wait through when posting a WL'd book or when requesting a book with many copies), who might still be around if they knew they were close to the front of the line.

When we see this on the forums we assume people are looking to see which books haven't moved, but I will note that I'm currently considering ending my membership over at SwapaDVD, and it would help to know that some of my DVD's have ever been ordered while I was a member, or that I'm close to the front of the line.  If I decide to end it's membership either way TPTB over there will lose the posted DVD's which is the prime concern.  The difference is that knowing that there is some hope might make me linger longer...

Date Posted: 10/22/2013 5:53 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,086
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The difference is that knowing that there is some hope might make me linger longer...

But right now you are still a member .... and the odds are against PBS if they gave you the info.

Right now you are probably staying because you think it's about 50/50 that your DVDs are near the top, right?

But if they give you the info for sure, then it's only 75/25 that you stay. Because if the info goes one way, you are definitely going to leave, and if it goes the other way, you are only going to maybe stay (but not for sure).

So, without the info you are maybe staying, and with the info, there is even less chance of you maybe staying.

So, better for PBS if you have no info.

(Obviously assigning probabilities to feelings is not an exact science. So take it with a grain of salt. But I think that's how most people think, even if the numbers are made up).

Anyway, regardless of how much people want the info .... the ideas that PBS will implement will be ones that help attract more members or support the site by generating more income (or, third possibility, fix mistakes in the software). This site costs a lot of money to run and that's not free ... so rightly or wrongly, PBS needs to generate income to pay for servers and backups and database maintenance, and yes, changes to the web site,  and 1000 other things that are necessary to pay for a web site like this one. So, although they have not said so ... the ideas that they are really looking for are either things that members would be willing to pay money for, or ideas that might attract more members.

It's basic business. I work in software, and my company never spends money putting anything "nice to have" into our software unless there is a clear business benefit.

Last Edited on: 10/22/13 6:04 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 10/23/2013 2:32 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2010
Posts: 577
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Well, your analogy of the two sites is similar to apples and oranges, the availability of DVD's & the rate that they are requested is directly related to their real-world cost (in other words the 1 credit per disc relationship is completely invalid and the stock available at the site represents this, unlike here where with the exception of new releases the 1 credit per book cost makes sense for the most part as I've seen books that sell for upwards of $40 online still posted here, there are some exceptions (lookup the Foxfire nature guide series for an example), but to date I haven't found a correlation except for the new release thing, which you can't get rid of, people as a mob are pretty stupid, and you see that everywhere from new cars to the newest video gaming system or cell phone), so I have a relatively good idea of where I stand over there (and why the only things I have wish listed over there are practically worthless as the chances I will receive them at the site are nill), although that has little to do with why I would quit.  But then I'm not on that site for the long haul (I joined in order to get rid of some DVD's that I would have sold at a rummage sale, and then transfer the credits here to order books).  This is why I'm not sure if my analogy of the two sites is relavent (as you say, a grain of salt), but then nothing I say would be relevant, as I'm a person who investigates and invests in stuff, most of the people who are the here today, gone tomorrow members here aren't.  They are unlikely to have posted in the forums, etc.  And as it is possible to clear out and close out your account those that clutter up wish lists and posted books are even less likely to have provided insight into the reason why the left (I never will, I'm to opinionated for that, TPTB will know why if I leave, even over at SwapADVD, like most people who post in the forums I "know" something and want to make sure other people "know" what I know, probably a failing, but human nature non-the-less).  Which is why I simply say it is something to consider.  I'm sure TPTB are curious about why the member's they've lost have gone.

As for your overall analysis of what will happen here I generally agree; that's also why I never see them instituting a policy of logging into the site periodically or it will place a hold on your account.  Like churches who keep members that they haven't seen or heard from for sometimes multiple decades, there is money in keeping members no matter what (or in PBS's case, those books that are available).  I don't knock the site owner's for this, it's a fact of life and I'm not even sure what drives it (mob mentality or what), but it is what it is.

Actually, maybe that is something that should be considered in light of your comments, adding the ability to check your place in line, if you are a gold member, or something of similar monetary value to the site.  In other words allow the site to trade the risk involved with giving away that information for actual income (the bird in hand type thing).

EDIT: As a side note, if you are a programmer, I'm sure that it would be possible to write script that would lookup that information, it is obviously available as there is no other way to know who to order the book from, and any information that is tracked by the site can be found out, even if the TPTB don't advertise it.  I do very little web programming (I know Java and obviously HTML not Pearl or any of those others, but if you are a programmer you know it is fairly easy to pick up most new languages) as mine comes in the form of engineering (statistical modelling and the like, if you are a programmer, laugh at the fact that when I do C derivative programming, I think about what I want it to do in FORTRAN and then translate it, then again I'm not a fan of C derivatives anyways, they aren't numerically accurate).  So if people really wanted it there may actually be a program out there making it's rounds underground that determines exactly that (he types as he thinks, hmmm time for a web-search someday).

Last Edited on: 10/23/13 2:44 PM ET - Total times edited: 4
Date Posted: 10/30/2013 11:55 PM ET
Member Since: 11/27/2010
Posts: 10
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"there is money in keeping members no matter what (or in PBS's case, those books that are available)."

yes, i'm guessing being able to write "4,764,229 books available" at the top of the website is a big plus for them in terms of the perceived value of this website -- even if about 3/4 of those books are multiples that will never be asked for.

Last Edited on: 10/30/13 11:55 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/31/2013 12:59 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,212
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 even if about 3/4 of those books are multiples that will never be asked for.

This is a bit of a stretch, just because a book is not the only copy doesn't mean it won't ever be requested. In fact a lot of the only copy books never go anywhere. I've deleted all but the low count books on my shelf before, and it reduced my requests to almost nothing. Those books just sat there.

Part of the reason PBS doesn't give the place in line is because it doesn't really mean anything. Just because your book is #5 doesn't mean it will be the 5th book requested. There are many things that affect which book is requested next - requests directly from Bookshelves, RCs, Goldkey Memberships, Holds. And just because you are #5 doesn't mean your book will be requested any faster than a book that you are #500th on.

Its really a worthless number, deceiving even, to see your place in line if you want to use it to figure when your book will be requested. They've talked about coming up with something else to help us determine how fast a book is moving, but its a free site to use and resources are better spent elsewhere I guess.

Date Posted: 10/31/2013 7:43 AM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,983
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This month I've had 2 books requested that have been sitting on my shelf for over 2 years.......popular books in their time so many, many copies were posted......my turn finally arrived.

Date Posted: 11/4/2013 3:41 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 439
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I would say if you have books sitting on your shelf here for 8 years, get rid of them! Seriously, some organization would probably love to have them - nursing homes, churches, schools, etc. IMO, that is way too long to hang onto a book that is not being requested.

Date Posted: 11/4/2013 5:55 PM ET
Member Since: 5/7/2009
Posts: 794
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You could put the book you are interested in checking on your reminder list.  You won't be able to tell right where your book falls unless you just listed it but you can tell how many copies are in the system.  Also now with gold key memberships it might go faster if it is to someone close to you.